Baking Up A Festive Season

Another semester is finally drawing to a close and I don’t know about you, but I’ve been mentally checked out for some time now. At this point, there’s no sweeter word to me than “home”. Christmas break is a chance to recharge, replenish and redirect my focus, for at least a short while.
When I think about Christmas, I think of family and friends—I think of decorating for the holidays and driving around the neighborhood to look at Christmas lights. I look forward to seeing my younger siblings’ faces light up when they open their gifts. But my favorite holiday tradition is baking.
My family is big on baking. I’ve been rolling cookie dough and reading recipes for as long as I can remember. I started as a taste tester, of course, and gradually gained more and more responsibility over the years. At this point, my mom expects fresh baked goods in the house whenever I’m home, and I don’t protest.
I’ve taken over our annual baking traditions and, honestly, it’s become cathartic. Icing sugar cookies and decorating gingerbread men is my creative outlet. There’s nowhere else I’d rather spend my holiday than in the kitchen perfecting new recipes. Flour, sprinkles and colored icing are sprawled over the kitchen table. The countertops are piled high with cooling racks of dozens and dozens of holiday cookies. I bake for days straight.
For some, this probably doesn’t sound relaxing, let alone enjoyable, but for me, it’s exactly what I need to come back refreshed and ready for another semester.
As we close out the year, I encourage you to take some time to wind down post-finals week. Make time to do the things you enjoy this break. Whether it's baking cookies or taking naps, recharge for next semester and come back ready to tackle a new year.

Danica Elyenstein is a senior studying communication.